First thing's first: Carmelo Anthony will always have the ball in his hands in the waning seconds of a one-possession game.
That's a fact of life when you're the face of the franchise.
New York Knicks
You're paid to take those shots.
So there's no reason to question why the ball was in Carmelo's hands in the the Knicks' final possession of an 82-81 loss to Derrick Rose's Bulls Thursday.
But what can be questioned is what Anthony did once the ball was in his hands.
On Thursday, Anthony opted to take a pull-up jumper from 26 feet out and two seconds to play. Anthony got the ball with a little over four seconds to play, so he had time to make a move off the dribble.
But he opted for a long jumper that didn't go down. Afterward, Anthony told reporters in Chicago that he got the shot that he wanted. He also said Loul Deng had defended his 1-2 dribble pull-up move well.
Again, whether or not you think Anthony took the best shot is open to interpretation. Also, if Rose doesn't hit a well-contested baseline runner with five seconds to play, we're having a totally different conversation today.
But there's something troubling for the Knicks today than what happened on the last possession. And it's this: their offense seemed to get bogged down with isolation sets in the final possessions of the game.
After putting the Knicks up, 78-76, with a turnaround jumper from 12 feet, Anthony missed his final five shots. New York missed its last seven overall.
Only one of Anthony's final five attempts were within 15 feet from the basket, and that was a 14-foot missed jumper with 1:43 to play. This isn't all on Anthony, of course. You have to credit Chicago's defense.
But the Knicks' possessions down the stretch lacked ball movement. New York seemed to settle on isolation sets centered around Anthony. Maybe this was the first instance we've seen this season where the team missed Jason Kidd?
Either way, you knew the ball was coming to Carmelo for the last shot. Whether or not he made the correct decision once he got the ball, well, that's certainly up for debate.
QUESTION: Do you think Anthony took the right shot at the end of the loss to the Bulls? Or should he have taken the ball to the basket?
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